The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan discusses the Red Wings’ penalty-kill in his pre-game notebook:
A penalty-killing unit that was struggling early on, and has been a source of frustration for fans for several seasons now, sat 24th (out of 32 teams) in the NHL on Saturday morning at 78.1%.
Still not sensational, given the rank. But with the way the unit has been playing lately, with the success it has had, certainly is reason for optimism.
“It’s been huge,” goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic said. “We were going over (the St. Louis) power play (Wednesday) and thinking it’s been a while since we gave up a power play goal. The PK has definitely stepped up the past two or three weeks. Even (Wednesday), yes, they get that one in the first period, but those were two big kills in the third there with the lead and trying to protect the lead.
“We didn’t really give them much of anything on them, and it’s definitely a testament to guys battling and laying out and sacrificing their bodies and committing to getting better on the penalty kill.”